English CDM 171 - Spring, 2022

Class Information

Instructor: Boluk, Stephanie
Time: TBA


Actual Course Number: CDM198 (CRN: 35050)

Advanced Game Studies Seminar: Kentucky Route Zero

In this small advanced game studies seminar we will engage the history of computing, literature, and new media art by studying a single videogame: Kentucky Route Zero.

From 2011 to 2020, Cardboard Computer released their game in the form of five "acts" and five "interludes" that include a gallery exhibition, a one act play, an automated phone system, a public broadcast television station, and an ever expanding cast of characters point-and-clicking through a magically realist America that is at once mysterious, tragic, horrifying, uncanny, and beautiful.. In this class we will tackle one act or interlude a week alongside carefully curated readings, artworks, media, and games including historical documents from the history of art and games as well as texts such as Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver's "Mathematical Theory of Information," Gabriel Garcia Marquez' _One Hundred Years of Solitude_, _Colossal Cave Adventure_, the 1970 Jewish Museum "Software" exhibition catalog, Robert Frost's Death of a Hired Man, the Phil Morton Memorial Research Archive, Clara Rockmore's _The Art of the Theremin_, Eugene O'Neill's _The Iceman Cometh_ among many others.


Previous experience playing and making videogames is not necessary but this class will move at a quick pace. This will be a discussion-heavy seminar in which students will be expected to contribute to the conversation. The final can either take the form of a scholarly paper or a game design project.